Ventura AirConnect (Ahmedabad) has been sold to a group of four Surat-based diamond companies which collectively intend to use the airline's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) to offer air taxi flights throughout Gujarat province.

According to India's Economic Times, the service is the brainchild of four Surat-based diamond businessmen including Govind Dholakia of SRK Exports, Lavji Badshah of Avadh-Anjani Group, Lalji Patel of Dharmanand Diamonds, and Savji Dholakia of Hari Krishna Exports. Surat is home to the country's largest diamond merchants and polishers generating revenue in excess of USD5billion in 2013.

"We don't have to apply for any registration or licence to operate, because we have taken over the operation of an existing airline based in Bhopal called Ventura, which already has a licence," Lalji Patel said. "As of now, our plan is to connect each and every city in Gujarat with an airport. Initially, we will start regular flights to cities like Bhavnagar and Rajkot from Surat. Then we plan to add Jamnagar, Bhuj and Keshod."

The service is expected to be operational from October 23 and will expand its services outside Gujarat at a later stage. Ventura AirConnect operates a pair of Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208Bs and had specialized in air taxi flights prior to its buy-out.

In June this year, an unnamed start-up was reported to have begun certification with India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with a view to serving the same market niche using a fleet of Piper Aircraft (Vero Beach).